As if you needed another excuse to spoil your dogmark your calendar for August 26. This summer day truly is one for the dogs—it’s National Dog Day! While our Columbia Pike Animal Hospital team celebrates—and spoils—canine patients every day, we go the extra paw on National Dog Day.

Here’s a little more backstory on this momentous occasion, and some ideas on how to celebrate.

What is National Dog Day?

National Dog Day (NDD) was founded in 2004 as a way to increase public awareness about homeless pets, and to recognize the extraordinary bond between dogs and their owners. While NDD’s central message is focused on shelter dogs and puppies, the special day acknowledges and celebrates the generous contributions to our lives made by dogs from all walks of life, including:

  • Family dogs
  • Service dogs
  • Law enforcement canines
  • Search and rescue dogs
  • Military working dogs

NDD is officially recognized by the state of New York, but honored informally by dog owners and lovers everywhere. Thanks in large part to social media and an online photo contest, NDD has soared in participation and popularity—who doesn’t love a day dedicated to dogs?—and spawned additional celebrations, including National Cat Day, National Puppy Day, and National Kitten Day.  

How can you get involved in National Dog Day?

No invitation or special requirements are required for this event—only a healthy obsession with and adoration for canine-kind. Participation can be as simple or extravagant as you wish, and can range from a simple paw-ty of two to a city-wide “woof-stock.” National Dog Day is as unique as dogs themselves, but no matter how you plan to spend the day, having a lot of FUN is definitely required!

Here are some bark-worthy ideas for commemorating National Dog Day 2022:

  • Adopt a pet — According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 5.5 million dogs and cats enter shelters every year. This does not include the countless number of pets surrendered to smaller animal rescue organizations. Pets for adoption are available in all sizes, breeds, mixes, and energy levels—certainly something for everyone. These pets may have fallen on hard times, but with love, kindness, patience, and training, they will make wonderful companions.
  • Donate to a shelter or rescue — Giving is easier than ever through online donations, and financial support can help your chosen organization cover a wide range of costs, from administrative to animal care. Most rescues and shelters keep a list of needed items, such as food, litter, bedding, and toys. Contact the organization first to ensure your donation is an item they need.
  • Volunteer — Volunteers are always in demand at shelters and sanctuaries, and National Dog Day is a great occasion to lend a hand. If you enjoy the great outdoors, offer to walk the active dogs. Socialization may be your niche if you prefer snuggling puppies. Additional caregiver duties may include cleaning runs, feeding, medicating, or grooming pets, or helping at fundraising or adoption events.
  • Spoil your dog —  This one is a given! Indulge the world’s best dog by treating them to something special. Express how much you care with an activity or item they’ll love, such as:

    • New toys or treats — For the playful and hungry, try a new toy, puzzle, or a tasty treat.
    • Explore a new park, trail, or lake — Go on a “Sniffari,” and let your dog’s nose lead the way. 
    • Take a class — Try something new such as doga (i.e., doggie yoga), rally obedience, dog parkour, barn hunt, or nosework. These entry-level activities are a fun way to deepen your bond.
    • Host a bark-party — Invite your dog-owning friends and their pooches over for fun and games. Include a dog-friendly cake and fun challenges, such as “Best trick,” “Fastest tail,” and “Best kisser.”
    • Couch and chill — For the reclined canine, dedicate time to one-on-one snuggling over a movie—ideally one about dogs!

Whatever you do, don’t forget to take pictures to commemorate your dog’s special day, and to show the world how much you love your pup!

  • Raise money to protect local working dogs — Host a fundraising event or campaign to purchase dog supplies for local law enforcement or first responders. Bullet-proof vests for police K-9s protect both the dog and human officers, while pet oxygen masks can help firefighters save dogs and cats from smoke inhalation.
  • Talk to your local and state representatives about puppy mills — Encourage stronger legislation against commercial breeding facilities and pet stores that sell puppies by voicing your concerns to your representatives. 

Finally, give your dog the gift of health and longevity by bringing them to Columbia Pike Animal Hospital for all their wellness and emergency veterinary care needs. Contact us to schedule your pet’s next appointment. Our skilled and dedicated care team can ensure you and your dog will celebrate National Dog Day for many years to come.